Competitions - Open Now
Exposure & Benefits
The Awards are your chance to have your work recognised globally and has the power to change the careers of those who win and are shortlisted.
The democratic approach of the Awards means all artists working across photography have equal opportunity to win and be seen by leading industry experts.
Every competition is free to enter and categories are designed to be open to all photographic genres and abilities.
Successful photographers can receive:
- Inclusion in global and country-specific media and marketing campaigns
- Exhibition at Somerset House, London
- Potential to be included in international exhibitions
- Inclusion in the Sony World Photography Awards book
- Opportunity to apply for the Sony Grant to further personal photographic projects
The World Photography Organisation has a thriving online presence and creates dedicated campaigns to give global exposure to the Awards' successful photographers across its social media platforms, mailers and website.
Produced by the World Photography Organisation, the internationally acclaimed Sony World Photography Awards are one of the most important fixtures in the photographic calendar.
The Awards are a global voice for photography and provide a vital insight into contemporary work today. For both established and emerging artists, the Awards offer extensive exposure.
Now in its 14th year, the Awards consist of four competitions: Professional (for photographers entering a body of work or portfolio), Open (for photographers entering a single image), Student (for academic institutions) and Youth (for 12-19 year-olds).
Always free to enter, there is a competition and a category for everyone – from Architecture, Documentary, Landscape, Portraiture, Sport, Street Photography, Wildlife, Travel, Culture and more. New categories for the 2021 Awards include Object and Lifestyle in the Open competition and Portfolio in the Professional competition. The Architecture category in the Professional competition has been expanded to Architecture and Design.
All images are judged by industry experts from across the world, who come together each year in London to reward standout works. A total prize fund of $60,000 (USD) plus the latest Sony digital imaging equipment is shared between the winning photographers.
With the power to kickstart and shape careers, the Awards provide those working in photography a global stage to showcase their work. Previous winning and shortlisted photographers have gone on to be represented by renowned galleries and institutions worldwide, as well as their work being featured in major international publications.
In addition, the Awards recognise the world’s most influential artists working in the medium through the Outstanding Contribution to Photography award; previous recipients include Mary Ellen Mark, Elliott Erwitt, Martin Parr, William Eggleston, Candida Höfer, Nadav Kander and, most recently, Gerhard Steidl.
The objective of the Sony World Photography Awards is to establish a platform for the continuous development of photographic culture. The Awards do this by recognizing great contributions to photography in the past through the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize as well as finding new talents of the future and providing them with the opportunity to be promoted and exhibited around the world. This is achieved through the Awards program and by integrating a Student and Youth competitions as well as Student and Professional Sony Grants. The latter further prove Sony’s commitment to photographic culture by extending their relationship with individual winners beyond the Awards to develop the individuals’ careers. The Grants of $7,000 (USD) and $3,500 (USD) each is awarded to four professional and three student recipients respectively so they can continue developing their projects.
Sony World Photography Awards exhibition tour
Each Spring the hugely popular Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition goes on show at the famous London landmark, Somerset House. Attracting 25,000 visitors each year, the Exhibition features more than 800 images and is a must-see event in the capital’s cultural calendar.
Following its London debut, the exhibition tours globally to Europe, Asia and the Americas. Click here to see our latest tour dates and locations.